Friday, February 5, 2010

Highlights and reflections from FRONTLINE's Digital Nation

This is by far my favorite clip from PBS's FRONTLINE Digital Nation:

I completely agree with Henry Jenkins on this point. The best way to deal with the "dangers" of the internet is by talking with students honestly, not by putting computers in classrooms, wiring them, then disabling their use.


This clip makes me respect our Secretary of Education a little bit more:

It is refreshing to hear this message come from the top.


Of all the clips in this program, this one probably bothers me the most.

I wonder if assistant principal Dan Ackerman realizes how creepy he looks spying on kids through their laptop webcams or how their acceptable use policy still reinforces the production gap in their school even though they have made tremendous gains using technology to help students learn.


Another great clip by Arne Duncan:

He says opportunity gap, I say production gap. Either way, I agree, "Schools need to be places of opportunity."


Regarless of how I feel about Prensky's notion of Digital Native/Immigrant I really like what he says about the type of learning activities students want and need to be engage in in this clip:

The second half of this clip where he says, "Schools are no longer the centers of education," is especially of interest and worthy of global conversation.


This teacher describes a fantastic application of social networking in the classroom:


In this clip James Paul Gee delivers what is probably the best explanation of school internet filtration policies and the fears people have that drive them that I have ever heard:


Finally, Henry Jenkins on learning strategies needed in the age of information overload:


Mrs. Tenkely said...

I really enjoyed watching Digital Nation. Hearing Prensky say that school is no longer the center of learning gave me pause. We need to make school relevant and a true place of learning. When our focus is on testing, the learning is often lost.

Carl Anderson said...

If school is no longer the center of learning, what is it the center of? I think this topic breaks open all kinds of issues. The shift we have made to such a focus on testing and tracking seems to reinforce the opinion that schools are here to serve as societal sorting mechanisms. It also brings to light the inherent bias most people who work in schools and those who write policy effecting schools have for teaching and learning. For most of those people school the way it has always been worked well for them. They found success and were usually found on the top when the great sorting happened for them. We tend to place in schools teachers who the system worked well for. For those people, it is often hard to see it any other way. Prensky mostly focuses on engagement and entertainment in his work but it runs deeper than that. The type of assessments we use, the power of 0, the strict adherence to a grading system that only rewards those who catch on quickly, and regard and reverence for the system rather than the students it serves all dictate what role we play for students in their learning. When there are other more engaging and relevant ways of learning outside of school and we don't attempt to capture the methods and qualities of those experiences for school we set ourselves up to be irrelevant.

Nick Provenzano said...

Kelly and Carl,

Yes, Yes and Yes! I was recently talking to a math teacher who has had trouble dealing with a student sleeping in class. At a parent conference, the parent said he doesn't need to stay awake for the notes because he learns the math from watching youtube videos at home. If everything can be learned from watching a video, where does that place teachers or the school as a whole. Students need to be creators of content, not replicators.

Good for Arnie for making those statements.

Also, the VP looked like a creepshow on that video. Yikes!